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Nurses urge action on climate change

Nurses urge action on climate change

Nurses commenting on a Special Article published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, Health and equity impacts of climate change in Aotearoa-New Zealand, and health gains from climate action, say if we want a healthy New Zealand we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

NZNO professional services manager, Susanne Trim says, “Every day nurses see the effects of poverty and poor housing on people’s health. Climate change, if left unchecked, will exacerbate these health inequities. In New Zealand, the effects of climate change will cause threats to health such as changes to infectious diseases, heat waves, heavy rainfall, droughts, increasing unemployment and unhealthier housing.”

“Those who already experience poorer health will bear the brunt of climate change related health outcomes, and that’s something the nursing team does not want to see.”

“If we take smart action to reduce our greenhouse emissions now, we can reap the benefits of a healthier planet and a healthier population. The NZMJ article identifies public transport, safer cycling and walking, housing insulation, clean energy and better diet as ways New Zealanders can cut greenhouse gas emissions and get healthier at the same time,” Susanne Trim says.

“We urge the government to commit to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima next week. We’re counting on it for a healthier future.”

New Zealand Nurses Organisation
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is the leading professional body of nurses and nursing union in Aotearoa New Zealand, representing more than 45 000 nurses and health workers. Te Runanga o Aotearoa is the arm through which our Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is articulated. Our members include nurses, midwives, students, kaimahi hauora, health care workers and allied health professionals. The NZNO vision is “Freed to care, Proud to nurse”. Our members enhance the health and well-being of all people of Aotearoa New Zealand and are united in their professional and industrial aspirations.


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